Short Hills Deer Hunt – Remains Of The Day

Short Hills Deer Hunt – Remains Of The Day

Written by:  Heather Clemenceau

Photos: Short Hills Wildlife Alliance

I find that there is a bizarre disconnect between the public face that hunters would like to present and the disturbing findings observed after the hunt is over. Nothing calls attention to this incongruity like a wounded animal and discarded remains scattered throughout the park. I’m not sure what enrages me the most, the MNRF’s ongoing assault on wildlife or the flagrant hypocrisy of doing it under the cover of something called either a “herd reduction” or “traditional hunt.”  The hunters and their supporters continue to make broad pronouncements and allegations about anti-hunt demonstrators when in fact all people should be free to express themselves without fear of being labelled in a derogatory fashion.  The disconnects seen in much of the reasoning by the pro-hunt cause are so enormous that it feels like climbing Mt. Everest without oxygen.  (Please note that in order to depict the visceral nature of the hunt,  photos included herein are GRAPHIC and DISTURBING).

With the 2017 hunt now concluded, the MNRF has tallied up the kill numbers for this year.  On at least one day their tally does not even agree with number counted by the police, so how transparent or honest/accurate is the reporting?  These numbers do not include the 4 deer that were found either abandoned or wounded outside the hunt zone and found dressed on private property, awaiting delivery by the MNRF to the staging area.  This year, vehicles with license plates from Quebec and even Florida were observed entering the park to kill deer.  I guess we should assume that there are no raw forests in either Quebec or Florida that can host deer hunting anywhere other than in a NO HUNT park in environmentally significant area?


Day 1 (November 11)  17 deer were killed – 8 male and 9 female, two of which were fawns

Day 2 (November 12)  – 6 deer were killed – 2 male and 4 female deer were killed (The Ministry refused to tell us how many were fawns)

Day 3 (November 25) – 15 deer were killed (although protesters and police counted 21 by visual confirmation)

Day 4 (November 26)  –  4 deer were killed – MNRF won’t disclose, but 6 deer were counted in a single truck

Day 5 (December 4)   MNRF won’t disclose, but 6 deer were counted in a single truck

Day 6 (December 5)   1 deer was killed


Unpacking the hypocrisy of the hunt and its proponents:

The hunters have long maintained that hunting in the park is a food sovereignty issue and they use all parts of the deer. So why are there so many skins, heads, and gut piles strewn throughout the park well after the hunt?  Why was a disembodied deer head shuttled in and out of the park over several days – why has the body apparently been abandoned in a food sustenance hunt? And why was a deer carcass abandoned at the foot of Swayze Falls, where it has remained for several days and is possibly still there?  For many people, the type of sporting contest apparently taking place in Short Hills (the “Big Buck Competition”) is representative of an anthropocentric philosophical perspective – the antithesis of what we are told is indigenous hunting.  Paradoxically, the taking of trophies is a product of the colonial/capitalist forces that the pro-hunt groups claim they despise.   An animal trophy reminds us, on a subliminal level, of the wealthy hunters depleting the landscapes on foreign lands in order to assert their ascendancy and control.

In another ironic exchange,  the (satirical but unintentionally accurate) Walking Eagle News makes the point that anyone taking hunting selfies puts ego over responsibility.  The number of “selfies” taken for the Big Buck Competition held in Short Hills suggests that many participants are more interested in obtaining trophies than in adhering  to “cultural traditions.” I doubt that most people who truly engage in subsistence hunting spend a lot of time on Facebook.



Once again this year, the pro-hunt camp complained that our signage is somehow racist (any kind of trigger that makes a hunt support angry or defensive is considered racist – even our last names evoke feelings of distrust, prejudice, and blame).  However,  unlike a person’s name or place of birth, beliefs can be argued for, tested, criticized, and changed. The more pugnacious hunt supporters turned their attention to our clothing – we should all expect a turn in the cage with someone from this group either online or IRL.  On this day, the supports are affronted by a protester wearing a “skull” face shield.  A complaint was received by police on the scene November 25th, asking that the protester be removed because of his attire.  Why is a face shield commonly sold in outdoor stores considered to be objectionable when worn by an anti-hunt demonstrator?   It seems perfectly acceptable however, when donned by a hunter.



In previous hunts it has been observed that some hunters attempted to walk into or out of the park after it commenced, with unencased bows.  Joe McCambridge, former president of the Ontario Conservation Officers Associations (OCOA), stresses that: “If you are going to hunt until the end of legal shooting time, you must take a proper case with you and encase your firearm after [sundown]. This includes bows and crossbows.”  I wonder what McCambridge would think of bows that are completely forgotten in the park? This bow was accidentally left in the park as-is, by a careless hunter after the sanctioned hunt in 2016,  and was found by someone walking the trails the next day.  It was turned over to the police.

The deer in the album below were found both in the park and well beyond the park boundary and buffer zone on private property, further evidence that the hunt is not safe and that boundaries simply aren’t respected.  All images are from the current 2017 hunt.  The dead deer at Swayze Falls was abandoned with an obvious hunting-related injury.  The MNRF appears to frown on the killing and abandonment of deer when it occurs in provincial parks that are not Short Hills. How many  other deer suffered and died on their own, undiscovered by anyone?

Some hunt supports have claimed that whenever injured deer are found,  it can only be due to poachers.  If so, then the poachers were hunting in the park at the same time as the Haudenosaunee hunters,  in which case the MNRF is unable to effectively close the park to people who are not permitted to be there.



All photos below were captured within Short Hills Park or the Hydro corridor over several hunts.  The doe with the neatly assembled entrails and head was tracked by her blood trail from the park to the Hydro corridor.  All the rest of the entrails and various remains were found within the park on a main hiking trail about an 8 minute hike from the Wiley Rd. parking lot, a designated entrance into the park, some heavily predated by the time they were found.

To those pro-hunters who claim the remains found in the park have been “staged” by animal rights activists,  we can only ask,  where would AR activists obtain the remains of deer?  I suggest that the conspiracy-minded become acquainted with William of Ockham’s most famous quote: “With all things being equal, the simplest explanation tends to be the right one.” 



The prevailing monologue we hear about the Short Hills hunt is that it’s an issue of a right to hunt and that the hunt is based on subsistence needs/food sovereignty etc., but commentary and photos by the hunters themselves suggests otherwise.  Since the hunt began in 2013,  almost 200 deer have been killed according to the MNRF’s own records, and even if we assume that’s accurate,  it doesn’t account for deer that escaped with fatal injuries,  to die later elsewhere.   The rate of extermination of deer,  the level of depreciative use, and damage to the park during the days of the hunt is far greater than the ability of the resource to conserve itself.

The pre-ecological thinkers at the MNRF continue to take the road of junk-science in furthering their agenda – greenwashing the hunt as a “herd reduction” of “overpopulated deer,” which coats this violence with a respectable veener for public consumption. But by the Ministry’s own account not a single deer examined by the biologist during the hunt showed signs of starvation or illness, measures of overabundance.  How long do they think this NO HUNT Short Hills  Game Farm  park can sustain the killing of 30-50 deer each and every year?  Not only that, but why should any hunter anywhere have the exclusive “right” to kill any animal that the rest of society might value alive?  Killing a sentient being is the ultimate oppression, no matter what the reason or who is carrying it out.


“Kill Everything”




About heatherclemenceau

Hopefully as I've grown older I've also grown wiser, but one thing I've definitely become cognizant of is the difference between making a living and making a life. Frequently outraged by some of life's cruelties, and respect diversity. But.....I don't suffer fools gladly, and occasionally, this does get me into some trouble! I have the distinction of being the world's worst golfer - no wait, I do believe that there is a gypsy in Moldavia who is a worse golfer than I. Nor am I much of a dancer - you won't see a booty-shakin' flygirl routine from me! I'm also not the kind of cook who can whip up a five-course meal on a radiator either! And I've never figured out how to get an orchid to bloom a second time. I love to discuss literature, science, philosophy, and sci-fi , or even why Seinfeld is funny on so many levels. Words move me. I'm very soft-hearted about most things, especially animals, but I have a stoicism about me that is sometimes interpreted incorrectly. I do have a definite edge and an often "retro-adolescent" sense of humour at times. I'm a big advocate of distributed computing projects to advance science. Check out if you want to find out more. I'm an eclectic plant-based eater, and as such, it's a personal practice of mine to seduce innocent meat-eaters into cruising the (salad) bars at every opportunity. You would be powerless to resist. I was recently surprised to find that a computer algorithm concluded that I write like Dan Brown, which is funny because I didn't think Dan Brown could actually write. Check out your own style - Oh, and I love impractical shoes and funky hats.

23 responses »

  1. I see that my comments were removed from the alliance page. You fail to address 2 concerns: 1 treaty rights.
    2. Use of lights and abusive language at a blockade, which allows protestors to hold up vehicles fro a a period of time. HOw did you get the right to do this?

    • I do not moderate the Alliance page.

      What is your objection to using lights to reveal the deer in trucks? If you have no problem hunting, why would you worry about what is concealed in truck beds? I have never seen anyone shine lights into a driver’s eyes, at least not while I’ve been at the hunt site. The videos posted on the Short Hills Wildlife Alliance page do show that the lights followed the sides of the trucks up to the truck bed and were not shone in people’s eyes.

      What abusive language are you referring to? In the age of smart phones, I would imagine that someone would have captured something really offensive by now. Ditto for pics of us supposedly jumping into vehicles, opening truck doors and assaulting the drivers, etc. etc.

      How do strikers get the right to hold up traffic during a labour dispute? How is it that, 10 years ago, native peoples closed traffic on major highways for hours in order to raise awareness of their issues? If you are comparing a 5 minute stall into a park with an hours-long blockage on a highway, I’m sorry, but I can’t exactly sympathize with you.

      • @0 minute long stops last year. Why do police enforce your blockade? Many reports of lights shone into cabs of trucks and lots of racial slurs used by protestor. Police are supposed to be neutral but obviously they are not since protestors are allowed into park to block the road. Treaty Rights are part of the foundation of Canada. If you are unwilling to honour the treaties then perhaps you should not accept your rights if you won’t accept your obligations.

      • You will have to ask the police that question Bruce.

        We don’t go into the park. The park boundary starts 30 feet in from the white line on the road, which is where the barricade is set. We stand on the one side of the barricade. This is very clearly seen from photographs and videos.

        I do not object to any treaties overall, in fact, I support them. I even support treaty rights to hunt, but not in any NO HUNT park. I do not support anyone hunting in a NO HUNT park, so in that respect I do not treat aboriginal people any differently than any hunter that wants to hunt in a NO HUNT park. Why is it that other hunters throughout Ontario, both indigenous and non-indigenous, find places to hunt other than Short Hills? This is a legitimate question.

        Let me pose a hypothetical question to you Bruce. What should be done with the millions of modern German people whose ancestors may have played a role in the extermination of over six million people? How should they be held accountable for what their ancestors may have done? Since some aboriginals in Canada feel that financial reparations are not enough, what else should be done in this example?

      • The question has been asked of the police with no response. So, in theory then anti protestors would be able to stand on the other side of the entrance near the barricade, which is owned by?? Short Hills is covered by a specific treaty with the Haudenosaunee. The millions of German’s have paid compensation, passed and enforced laws to prevent things from happening again. As you know, Canada has not done this, stolen lands have not been returned, nor compensation given. Education is funded at a rate40% lower than provincial schools, health care is greatly below ‘Canadian ” standards as is housing. The apartheid Indian Act still is law and no parliament has attempted to repeal or drastically amend it. What should present day Canadians do to stop the injustice from continuing?

      • How is it that Short Hills park is specifically covered, by name, in a treaty from the 1700s? I believe it was established in the 1980s.

        I have no opinion on where other counter protesters should stand – for any boundary issues you would need to contact the MNR, which is where we got our info, or the police. We stand on public property, unless you are implying that we have no right to be there either?

        I’m reflecting on statements that non-aboriginal Canadians need to collectively “get back on the Mayflower” in reverse. Clearly that’s a futile thought experiment, since we can’t go anywhere else due to the accident of birth that makes us Canadians. As far as reparations go, I agree completely that the federal government needs to open its pocket books and make proper reparations with native peoples – residential schools, restoration of property ownership, compensation for grassy narrows, etc. Last I read, the amount of reparations for the residential school victims was $750 million.

        But all that is really beyond the scope of the current issue with the park. Or with this blog post. With rights come responsibilities – for everyone. I’m not seeing it when I read posts that say “Kill everything.”

      • The bottom line to all this: neither the MNRF or governments at any level can do a thing about it – no matter how much you whine or complain or protest. We can hunt anywhere in Southern Ontario (including on what you might think is personal property) at any time of the year – not because of a treaty made in 1702 but because S. Ontario is our unceded territory. The deal with MNRF is a compromise we made only for Short Hills to address public safety but is otherwise unnecessary given our right to hunt.

        One thing to keep in mind is that settlers are merely guests on our land. We hold underlying title to all land here and through cooperation and friendship agreements we continue to allow you some latitude. But don’t bite the hand that houses you. You not only disrespect us but leave a bitter view of all settlers.

        So whether you agree or not is of no concern to us. We will continue to hunt & harvest from the land. Exercising our rights is the only way we can preserve them.

      • Most of the issues being posted here have very little relation to the issue of hunting in the park. This includes the subject of residential schools, health care, fraud by band leaders and so on. To reiterate once again, this is a very specific issue about hunting in a very specific park.

        Since 80/90% of land in Canada is crown land, you would think that hunters could find appropriate raw forested areas in which to kill animals. So I’ll ask again – why is it that other hunters, both indigenous and non-indigenous, seem to find locations to hunt?

        FOIA information we got through the MNRF (conversations between them and the Haudenosaunee Confederacy) detailed conversations where the latter indicated they could not find enough deer for longhouse celebrations. The only reason I can think of is that this is due to the usual hunting grounds having been overhunted or the demand exceeded the supply. Either way, it’s not sustainable when you run out of deer, who are not exactly a rare species in Ontario.

        Click to access 1.pdf

        Even the Boone & Crockett club (comprised of Teddy Roosevelt/Davy Crockett/Aldo Leopold and others) understood that there needed to be enclaves of property where no hunting should be allowed – they were all hunters who promoted to idea of a true conservation area – like Short Hills.

        No one anywhere has rights without responsibilities. The government can ban indigenous people from hunting and fishing via the Sparrow decision – the court ruled that governments have the power to declare moratoriums on hunting and fishing of specific species in specific areas that would also include banning Indigenous hunters and fishers.

      • One additional thing.

        Reparations as a component of reconciliation does not mean throwing money at what you see as a problem. Far from it. It is returning the land taken from us or used without our consent. Your Supreme Court has confirmed on many occassions that our right to determine what happens to land and to benefit from it, includes returning so-called unceded Crown lands likes parks, conservation areas, forests and municipal areas. Where it would be impractical to evict people from our land because of occupation only then would a reasonable monetary exchange be considered. The problem is that your Supreme Court has on many occassions confirmed that fair compensation for land far exceeds what any government has offered. And so we are within our legal right to continue to press the eviction either through abandonment or purchase by the government of personal properties to restore what continues to be our land and our right to resources.

      • “Press the eviction?” Like the guy who told me at one hunt to “go back to Europe?” Evict millions of people born in Canada? If you’re referring to people of European ancestry, you should be aware that, we have no rights to return to EU countries according to the doctrines of jus sanguini and jus soli. Unless both parents are from the same EU country we have no pathway back to any EU county. That doesn’t even take into consideration the fact that most Canadians born in this country don’t possess parentage that hails from one singular country. I have as much right to live here as you do. Furthermore, I’ve also personally found that some Indigenous people believe that multiculturalism serves as a form of on-going colonialism.

  2. Nor I when I see signs about “the only good hunter is a dead hunter”
    The current Germans have mostly acknowledged that they, as do Canadians from the reserve system, benefitted form the holocaust. Canadians refuse to accept that they are in a privileged position because of the apartheid and genocide practiced by their Govt.
    Short Hills is part of the traditional territory and so hunting should eb allowed anywhere in atht area. It would not be wise to allow it over the entire region, though by treaty, it could.

    • Never saw a sign at Short Hills depicting that message. Pics?

      And I have also never read anywhere that most Germans believe they benefited by the holocaust. The people that do hold those beliefs are Nazis. There is certainly a lot of robust literature that confirms that attitudes can persist a long time The Nazi regime was also very ambitious in their attempt to indoctrinate the population, and it particularly focused on the young.

      Aboriginals suffer a worse fate than any other culture or group in Canada, but it’s a big stretch to say that Canadians think we benefit by it or that we think it ought not to be resolved. Blame the rise in right-wing extremism around the world for attitudes against all visible minorities.
      The government certainly partook of all those things you mentioned, but aboriginal bands also didn’t quickly throw out leaders who defrauded them either.

      And I still disagree with you about Short Hills. The modern use of the park, which includes homes that have been built up, a scout camp where numerous deer have been found wounded, and hobby horse farms on the perimeter etc. mean that it isn’t a suitable location. Those residents were all living on the perimeter long before the first 2013 hunt, so the MNRF can hardly complain when they objected to it.

      You really haven’t responded to my other hypotheticals either – such as why other hunters don’t seem to have problems finding locations with sparse populations of people nearby and with deer to kill.

  3. It was on the fb page of the alliance. One example of benefits: IN Thunder Bay a reserve was located on excellent farm land and the FN folks sold extra produce to people in the area. In the 1920’s the govt. moved the reserve to stony infertile area, ordered the FN to not leave the reserve without permission and gave the old reserve to local settlers. As a result FN lost framing, extra income and because they could not leave , were unable to hunt or fish to feed their families. Result. Whites got the last good farmland at cheap prices and the FN lost many people to disease brought on by the poor diet they were forced into. Repeat that story ,many times across Canada and that is one of many benefits you have. Canadians obviously want to maintain the present day status of reserves and 40% poorer schools, housing and health care that has been well documented by the Auditor General. If not why has parliament never tried to repeal or greatly amend the Indian Act? It says that FN are wards of the state, in 2017 and for how much longer?
    Other hunters can get permission from land owners. Do you really think that FN hunters would receive the same ?

    • Bruce, one of the rules for commenting is that comments have to be germane to the blog post. I agree that reform is needed for private land ownership, health care, and that all these injustices happened and continue to happen. That said, I can’t continue to comment on those issues because they diverge too far from the issues in this particular blog post.

      Natives can and do get permission to hunt from local landowners in the area. If you don’t get permission, does it mean people are prejudiced? Perhaps they don’t want hunting on their land? Hunting is an activity that is pursued by only 5-17% of the population (depending on your source) so it seems reasonable that many people don’t want it on or near their property. Another problem that is associated with hunting in Short Hills is that other non-native hunters have adopted a “me-too” attitude and are poaching in the park. I believe at one of the first protests in 2013 there were non-native hunters present who wanted to hunt there as well. And the Ontario Federation of Anglers put together a claim documenting why EVERYONE should be able to hunt there every year. Can you imagine even more people killing deer? There are already no limits on the number of deer killed and the park would be utterly destroyed.

      Posts or signage that call for death to participants are obviously not appropriate/in poor taste. Still, this doesn’t appear to be an actual sign at a Short Hills hunt.

      • It was on the Short Hills Alliance FB page and seems to have ben removed but screen shots were made.

  4. A lot of unmitigated BS being spouted here from all sides; even though the facts and accurate information are widely available we continue to see the usual propaganda being spouted and the victim card being played over and over again;the historical evidence is quite clear, for example, the fact is there is NO UNCEDED LAND and NANFAN IS A FRAUD ; as for the Indian Act which was a horrible mistake in the first place there were definitely efforts to abolish it and alternative solutions offered by the Liberals under the elder Trudeau; but the main stumbling block and resistance came from the chiefs themselves because they had too much to lose by having their own people become independent and not relying on taxpayer hand-outs any longer; so a very lucrative ABORIGINAL INDUSTRY continued to grow , as it has to this day and groups who support this travesty called a “hunt” such as the HDI have been the recipients of these ongoing FRAUDULENT CLAIMS (see Caledonia); as I have repeated ad nauseam Six Nations(Five at the time) were never aboriginal or indigenous to Southwestern Ontario having been defeated by the Mississauga and their allies and driven back to New York State, their original home; Southwestern Ontario was Mississauga land from 1700 and recognized by the British Crown as such,parts of which were eventually legally purchased (Haldimand Tract) and provided as home for Six Nations in compensation for their support in the wars of Independence(vs the Americans) and the war of 1812(also against the US); in any case you can’t negotiate(Nanfan) an agreement over lands you didn’t possess in the first place and no amount of historical revisionism and wishful thinking will alter the facts and the truth; Nanfan is not even recognized by the Federal government in its list of all Canadian treaties and the day is soon coming when a class action lawsuit will be filed in Ontario Superior Court to challenge the validity of Nanfan which has already cost Ontario taxpayers countless millions (including what continues to be spent on Shorthills and other parks); the Haudenosaunee , one would think, should welcome such a challenge, being so certain of the rights provided them via Nanfan, but one expects that is a Pandora’s Box or “can of worms” they do not want to open.

    • You omit any discussion of earlier treaties: 2 row wampum and dish with 1 spoon. When you say victim card you exposed your racism and colonialism. You admit that the Act is ” a horrible mistake” but blame FN for an act of parliament which did not have any FN involvement. Trudeau senior’s white paper was an attempt at assimilation. Of course the chiefs hated it as did most FN. The chiefs are the creation of eth Indian Act. They do not represent the people but act as INdian Agents did before them, creatures beholden to Ottawa.

      • There is no evidence those were treaties but only colonial agreements at most and Two Row..was an agreement with the Dutch, not the British; it didn’t take long before I would be called racist which usually happens when the facts don’t want to be faced; FN were most certainly involved in discussions on the Indian Act and White Paper and it was NOT about assimilation but the rights for those living on reserves to continue to do so or accept other arrangements on their own timing and with government financial assistance; you totally contradict yourself by claiming the chiefs hated it and then, in the very next sentence, say they created the Indian Act; the chiefs most certainly could have done much more in representing their own people but many were and are too fond of all the perks they were getting, including lucrative salaries for literally doing nothing; don’t blame Ottawa for the squandering of countless millions over the years because many of the chiefs did not want transparency or to show how the money was being spent (look at the conditions on so many reserves!) no, the chiefs were not “Indian Agents” but greedy, self-serving promoters of the very same system they pretended to hate; they wanted their cake and to eat it too and the Indian Act gave them that opportunity for many decades…and still does.

      • Another screed. Not factual at all. If you have friends at six ask about the reputation of Rick Monture and then talk to him about the 2 treaties. Why do you say there was FN involvement? It was a photo op and no consultation. Your stereotyping of greedy chiefs was long ago dismantled by the Auditor General in her 2013 report. If you don’t like being described as a racist, then don’t talk the talk. VICTIM CARD, WTH do you mean by that?? You talk a great deal from a colonial European view point about treaties. Have you read the Parliamentary Library paper on HOw to Understand treaties? You are only looking at things from one view point.

      • What name? such as yours “dbrucew”? My name would only give you the opportunity to engage in personal attacks and vilification as you have already started with the racist and colonialist designations; FYI I have many friends among Six Nations who agree with me and do not support any “right to hunt” which they believe is having a disgraceful affect on the majority at Six Nations who, quite frankly, are too afraid to speak out for fear of retaliation.

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